Gard gives Covid-19 update

Gard CEO Rolf Thore Roppestad has issued an update on the insurer’s current position, approaching the Easter break.

He noted that some of Gard’s members and clients were having a tough time in their operations, both in terms of their people and their financial status. He said that Gard was “in continual contact with its Members and clients in these difficult times. We are working with them to understand their challenges and how we as an organization can support them.”

He said that the Loss Prevention team was working hard to share knowledge on Covid-19 and its consequences, whether this involved looking at the implications for ships and crews, the health of seafarers or advising on the consequences of the lay-up and reactivation of vessels.

Gard said that it was aware that some criminals were taking advantage of the global crisis, particularly in terms of cybercrime. The CEO said that Gard had seen a sharp increase in emails allegedly from senior personnel suggesting funds be transferred to new accounts. “In fact, we know that we have been the subject of such a scam, so if you are in any doubt about communications that appear to come from Gard, please do check with us.”

On the financial side, the CEO said that Gard was capitalized to withstand a 1-in-100 year annual loss and still continue to operate with the same risk tolerance. The financial statements for last year were not yet finalized, but Gard expected a year-end capital adequacy in the upper range of the target set by the Board of Directors.

The CEO noted that since February 20th 2020, the end of year for Gard P&I, most global equity indexes had fallen steeply. He said that Gard had a moderate exposure to equities. Consequently, Gard’s investment portfolio had fallen much less than global equities. Nevertheless, the current nominal USD loss was high. “Currently, we estimate that our capitalisation has fallen slightly below the middle range of our long-term target which is still solid. To me, this is strong proof that Gard has a very robust business platform”, the CEO said.

Gard reported that there were still no confirmed Covid-19 cases among its staff or their families.

As a global business, a number of Gard’s offices had been working remotely for some time now. The CEO concluded that “I am sure we will have all learnt many good new habits from this when we return to a more usual working environment.”